Public Policy & Advocacy

The mission of the Public Policy Committee of Psychologists in Long-Term Care (PLTC) is to advocate on behalf of policies promoting the availability and accessibility of ethical psychological services to older adults in long-term care settings. The Committee will monitor professional, regulatory, and legislative proposals and developments affecting the provision of geropsychological services in long-term care settings and facilitate PLTC responses, consistent with the mission of PLTC and the interests of its members.


  1. Identify, monitor, and inform PLTC members of regulatory, legislative, and professional issues and developments affecting the delivery of psychological services in long-term care settings.

  2. Inform policymakers, regulators, and other decisionmakers of the mental health needs of older adults in long-term care facilities and the delivery and utility of geropsychological services in such settings.

  3. Formulate responses to policy and regulatory proposals and developments consistent with the mission of the Committee and PLTC, including, but not limited to, correspondence to and contact with policymakers and legislative officials.

  4. Coordinate advocacy efforts with organizations with an interest in long-term care and the mental health of older adults to promote awareness and accessibility of geropsychological services in long-term care settings. 

In Recommended Reading:

Providing Care to Elders
Managing Difficult Behaviors
Recovering from Grief
Underutilization of Geropsychology
Responding to Disaster
Activation Therapy for Patients with Dementia
Wandering and Elopement Risk Assessment
Self-Help Resources for Depression
Helping Families get the Most out of Their Visits
  with Loved Ones with Alzheimer's

Sleep resources for services to patients
Suicide Prevention

Recommended Reading

These are some books and articles which PLTC members have recommended to other members on specific topics; these resources have been gathered from information sent across the PLTC listserv and have been compiled here.

Providing Care to Elders

For general geriatric population:

Smyer, M. & Qualls, S. (1999). Aging & Mental Health. Blackwell.

Salamon, M. J. & Rosenthal, G. (2003). Home or Nursing Home Making the Right Choices (2nd ed.). Springer. 

For general LTC population:

Barbera, Eleanor Feldman (2012), The Savvy Resident's Guide: Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Nursing Home Stay But Were Afraid to Ask. Psychology Insights Press.

Lichtenberg, P. (1994). A guide to psychiatric practice in geriatric long tem care settings. Haworth Press.

Long, S. (2005). Caring for people with challenging behaviors. Health Profession Press.

For Nursing Home staff caring for patients with dementia: 

Gwyther, L. (1985). Care of Alzheimer's Patients: A manual for nursing home staff. AHCA & ADRDA

For Caregivers of dementia patients: 

Mace, N., & Rabins, P. (1991). The 36-hour day. Johns Hopkins Press.


Grisso, T., & Appelbaum, P. S. (1998). Assessing competence to consent to treatment: A guide for physicians and other health professionals. New York: Oxford University Press

Moye, J. (2003). Guardianship and conservatorship (pp. 309-390). In T. Grisso & R. Borum (Eds.), Evaluating competencies: Forensic assessment and instruments. (2nd ed.). New York: Plenum.

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Managing Difficult Behaviors

Cohn, M., Smyer, M., & Horgas, A. (1994). The ABC's of behavior change: Skills for working with behavior problems in nursing homes. Venture Publishing, Inc.

Keane, B., & Dixon, C. (1999). Caring for people with problem behaviours. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.

Lebow, G., Kane, B., & Lebow, I. (1999). Coping with your difficult older parent. New York: Avon Books.

Lichtenberg, P. A. (1994). A Guide to Psychological Practice in Geriatric Long-Term Care. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press

Lichtenberg, P. A. (1998). Mental Health Practice in Geriatric Healthcare Settings. New York: Haworth Press.

Lichtenberg, P. A., Kimbarow, M. L., Wall, J. R., Roth, R. E. & MacNeill, S. E. (1998). Depression in Geriatric Medical and Nursing Home Patients A Treatment Manual. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Lichtenberg, P. A. (Ed.)(1999). Handbook of Assessment in Clinical Gerontology. New York: Wiley Press.

Long, S. (2005). Caring for people with challenging behaviors: Essential skills and successful strategies in long-term care. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.

Robinson, A., Spencer, B., & White, L. (1992). Understanding difficult behaviors: Some practical suggestions for coping with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. Ann Arbor, MI: Eastern Michigan University.

Rosowsky, E., Abrams, R., & Zweig, R. (Eds.) (1999). Personality disorder in older adults: Emerging issues in diagnosis and treatment. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Recovering from Grief

Brener, A. (1993). Mourning and Mitzvah: A guided journey for walking the mourner's path through grief to healing. Jewish Lights Publishing.

James, J. W., & Cherry, F. (1988). The grief recovery handbook: A step by step program for moving beyond loss. Harper and Row.

Rando, T. (1991). How to go on living when someone you love dies. Bantam.

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Underutilization of Geropsychology

Halpain, M. C., Harris, M. J., McClure, F. S. & Jeste, D. V. (1999). Training in geriatric mental health: Needs and strategies. Psychiatric Services, 50(9), 1205-1208.

Jeste, D. V., Alexopoulos, G. S., Bartels, S. J., Cummings, J. L., Gallo, J. J., Gottlieb, G. L., Halpain, M. C., Palmer, B. W., Patterson, T. L., Reynolds, C. F., & Lebowitz, B. D. (1999). Consensus statement on the upcoming crisis in geriatric mental health: Research agenda for the next 2 decades. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 848-853.

Gatz, M., Karel, M. J., & Wolkenstein, B. (1991). Survey of providers of psychological services to older adults. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 22(5), 413-415.

Smyer, M. A., Shea, D. G., & Streit, A. (1994). The provision and use of mental health services in nursing homes: Results from the National Medical Expenditure Survey. American Journal of Public Health, 84, 284-287.

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What To Do In The Aftermath of Disaster?

Fostering Resilience in Response to Terrorism For Psychologists Working with Older Adults (.pdf file)

Other Publications on Aging from APA

APA's Help Center (other publications on resilience; including "The Road to Resilience")

Resources for Working With Survivors of Katrina and Their Families, & for Displaced Psychologists & Psychology Interns

The AGS Foundations for Health and Aging -- Hurricane Katrina: Informational Resources

SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center - A Guide for Older Adults

Psychosocial Issues for Older Adults In Disasters (.pdf file)

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Activation Therapy for Patients with Dementia

Carpenter, B. D., Ruckdeschel, K., Ruckdeschel, H., & Van Haitsma, K. (2002). A manualized psychotherapy for long-term care residents with depression and dementia. Clinical Gerontologist, 25 (1/2), 25-49.

Duffy, M. (2006) Psychotherapeutic interventions for older persons with dementing disorders. In C. Brody (Ed.), Strategies for therapy with the elderly: Living with hope and meaning, (2nd Edit.), NY Springer Pub. Co.

Duffy, M. (2005) Strategies for working with women with dementia. In F.K. Trotman and C. Brody (Eds.) Women therapists working with older women. New York Springer Publishing Co.

Stanley, M. A., Quijano, L., Cully, J. A., Casado, B. L., Steinberg, E. H., Petersen, N. J., Woods, A., & Wilson, N. L. (2005). Healthy IDEAS: Expanding the boundaries of treatment for late-life depression. Presented at the 39th Annual Convention of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Washington, DC, November.

Teri, L., Logsdon, R. G., Uomoto, J., & McCurry, S. M. (1997). Behavioral treatment of depression in dementia patients A controlled clinical trial. Journal of Gerontology Psychological Sciences, 52B, P159-P166.

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Wandering and Elopement Risk Assessment

Hussian, R. & Davis, R. L. (1985). Responsive care: Behavioral interventions with elderly persons. Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Algase, D. L. (2001). Wandering. In B. Edelstein (Ed.). Clinical geropsychology. Oxford: Elsevier.

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Self-Help Resources for Depressed Elders

Eckford, L., & Lambert, A. (2002). Beating the Senior Blues How to Feel Better and Enjoy Life Again. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Greenberg, D., & Padesky, C. (1995). Mind Over Mood (Client Workbook).

Butler, G., & Hope, T. (1997). Managing Your Mind: A Mental Fitness Guide. Oxford University Press.

Burn, D. (1999). Feeling Good. New York: Avon Books.

Copeland, M. E. & McKay, M. (2001). Depression Workbook (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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Helping Families Get The Most out of Visiting their Loved One with Alzheimer's

(the above 2 links are the same information)

“Talking to Alzheimer's" by Claudia Strauss from New Harbringer Publishers

"Alzheimer's for Dummies" by Patricia Smith, Mary Kenan and Mark Kunik

"Your Name Is Hughes Hannibal Shanks: A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's” by Lela Knox Shanks, Foreword by Steven H. Zarit (1996)

"Memory Books and other graphic cuing systems: Practical communication and memory aids for adults with dementia" by Michelle S. Bourgeois by Health Professional Press (2007).

“Alzheimer’s Activities: Hundreds of Activities for Men and Women with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders” by B. J. Fitzray (2001).

“Learning to speak Alzheimer’s: A groundbreaking approach for everyone dealing with the disease” by Joanne Koenig Coste (2004)

“A Dignified Life: The best friends approach to Alzheimer’s care, a guide for family caregivers.” By V. Bell & D. Troxel (2002)

“The 36-Hour Day”

“Alzheimer's Early Stages: First steps for family, friends and caregivers.”  Kuhn, Daniel. (2003)

“Alzheimer's:  Answers to Hard Questions for Families.”  Nelson, J. L., & Nelson, H. (1997)

"A Different Visit: Activities for Caregivers and Their Loved Ones with Memory Impairments." Joltin, A., Camp, C. J., Noble, B. H., & Antenucci, V. M. (2005)

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Sleep Resources for Services to Patients

Tuck - Advancing Better Sleep

Tuck - Guide to Anxiety and Sleep

Tuck - How Does Trauma Effect Sleep?

Tuck - Mental Illness and Sleep Disorders

Suicide Prevention Guide

While targeted to college students, this Suicide Prevention Guide can have some general relevance to geriatric care.

PLTC Members may submit citations
of their own works to be
included on this list.

Members' Books & Recent Publications

In Press

Allen, R. S., Burgio, L. D. (In Press). Training therapists in gerontology [Review of the book Psychotherapy with Older Adults (Third Edition)]. Contemporary Psychology.
Heiser, D., Brennan, M., Redic, J. (In Press). Spirituality and Palliative Care: The CARE Cabinet Intervention. Haworth Press.
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Segal, D.A., Smyer, M.A., Qualls, S.H. (2018). Aging and mental health (Understanding Aging) 3rd ed.. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Carney, K. and Norris, M. (2017). Transforming long term care: Expanded roles for mental health professionals. American Psychological Association Press, Washington, DC
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Bush, S. S., Allen, R S. & Molinari, V.A. (2016). Ethical practice in geropsychology. American Psychological Association Press, Washington, DC
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Gibson, R.M., PhD, JD, and Ferrini, R.L., MD, MPH, CMD. (2014). Identifying and Managing Long-Term Care Residents With Criminal or Correctional Histories: Preliminary Analysis of One Facility's Experience. Annals of Long-Term Care(June). Retrieved from:
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Gibson, R.M., Boyd, J.G. (2013). Medical Decision-Making in California Long-term Care Facilities: Health & Safety Code Section 1418.8, a Mandated Alternative to Conservatorship. Trusts and Estates Quarterly [Posted with permission from Trusts and Estates Quarterly.]. Trusts and Estates Quarterly, 19(1). Retrieved from:,_2013.pdf
O'Riley, Alisa, Ph.D., Nadorff, Michael R., Ph.D., Conwell, Yeates, M.D., & Edelstein, Barry, Ph.D. (2013). Challenges Associated With Managing Suicide Risk in Long-Term Care Facilities. Annals of Long-Term Care. Retrieved from: Suicide in LTC.pdf
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Barbera, Eleanor Feldman. (2012). The Savvy Resident's Guide: Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Nursing Home Stay But Were Afraid to Ask. Psychology Insights Press
Christy, A., Molinari, V. (2012). Emergency commitment of people residing in assisted living facilities. Community Mental Health Journal Apr, 48(2), 219-22.
Gibson, R.M., Ferrini, R.L. (2012). Difficult Resident or Personality Disorder? A Long-Term Care Perspective. Annals of Long-Term Care.
Lane, Geoffrey W., Podgorski, Carol A., Noronha Delilah O. (2012). "The Hidden Caregiver": Kinship caregivers and lessons learned from dementia family caregiving [Taylor & Francis Online]. Clinical Gerontologist, 35, 195-203. Retrieved from:
Molinari, V. (2012). Application of the competency model to geropsychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(5), 403-409.
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Christy, A., Molinari, V. (2011). Emergency commitment from nursing homes. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 12(8), 551-553.
Cohen, D., Hayes, T., Molinari, V. (2011). State policies for the residency of offenders in long-term care facilities: Balancing right to care with safety. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 12(7), 481-486.
Gibson, R.M. (2011). Ready for Your Close-Up With James Cagney?. Caring for the Ages.
Molinari, V. (Ed.). (2011). Specialty competencies in geropsychology. New York: Oxford University Press
Molinari, V., Chiriboga, D. A., Branch, L.G., Schinka, J., Schonfeld, L., Kos, L., Mills, W., Krok, J. Hyer, K. (2011). Reasons for psychiatric prescription for new nursing home residents. Aging & Mental Health, 15(7), 904-912.
Molinari, V., Edelstein, B. (2011). Commentary on the current status and the future of behavior therapy in long-term care settings. Behavior Therapy, 42(1), 59-65.
Molinari, V., Hyer, K., Chiriboga, D., Branch, L., Schonfeld, L. (2011). Mental health treatment in nursing homes [HeinOnline]. Marquette Elder's Advisor Law Review. Retrieved from:
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Gibson, R.M., Ferrini, R.L. (2010). You let them do what??!! Decision-Making Capacity and the Exercise of Patient Autonomy in Long-Term Care.. Annals of Long-Term Care.
Hyer, K, Molinari, V., Kaplan, M., Jones, S. (2010). Credentialing dementia training: The Florida experience. International Psychogeriatrics, 22(6), 864-873.
Karel, M., Emery, E., Molinari, V., CoPGTP Task Force on the Assessment of Geropsychology Competencies. (2010). Development of a tool to evaluate geropsychology knowledge and skill competencies. International Psychogeriatrics, 22(6), 886-895.
King-Kallimanis B., Schonfeld, L., Molinari, V., Brown, L., Kearns, W., Davis, D., Werner, D., Beattie, E., Nelson, A. (2010). Longitudinal investigation of wandering behavior in Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home care units. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 166-174.
Molinari, V., Chiriboga, D., Branch, L., Cho, S., Turner, K., Guo, J., Hyer, K. (2010). Provision of psychopharmacological services in nursing homes. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 65(1), 57-60.
Molinari, V., Volicer, L. (2010). Dementia. In I. Weiner & E. Craighead (Eds.). Corsini's encyclopedia of psychology (4th ed.), 472-474.
Park, N.S., Jang, Y., Lee, B. S., Schonfeld, L., Molinari, V. (2010). Willingness to use mental health services among residents in assisted living []. Journal of Applied Gerontology. . Retrieved from:

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Updated 2018-08-10 15:58:26